The California drought could be nearing an end

Good morning. It’s Thursday, Jan. 12, and here’s what’s happening across California:

TOP STORIES

The end is near?

The state’s biggest reservoirs are swelling. As of this date, the Sierra Nevada has seen as much snow, sleet, hail and rain as during the wettest years on record. Rainy Los Angeles feels more like London than Southern California. So is the great California drought finally calling it quits? Yes. Or at least maybe. Los Angeles Times

Field goal

So it looks as though L.A. will soon have two NFL teams. San Diego Chargers owner Dean Spanos told NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and several owners Wednesday that he intends to move to Los Angeles, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation. It would be a blow to the self-image of San Diego, where city leaders worked to try to keep pro football in the city. Los Angeles Times

Holding pattern

In her first year as leader of the Los Angeles Unified School District, Michelle King has continued the policies of her predecessor, while building on her reputation as a seasoned, likable manager. But what she will do to rescue L.A. Unified from its looming crises remains as difficult to say today as it was on the day of her promotion. Some, including school board members, said they are still waiting for King to flesh out her plans and address the most serious budgetary issues. Los Angeles Times

Off the drawing board at last?

In a downtown that has seen so much development in the last few years, the situation on Bunker Hill has been a cautionary tale. For more than a decade, the prospect that another Frank Gehry development might rise across from the architect’s signature Walt Disney Concert Hall has tantalized downtown Los Angeles. Now, the elaborate commercial and residential development designed by Gehry could finally get off the ground after a Chinese builder has put $290 million into the venture. Los Angeles Times

L.A. STORIES

Fumigate the hall: “Just as no amount of Raid can kill all the cockroaches, in politics, money gets where it wants to go. Slam a door, and it finds two windows.” — Steve Lopez on talk of campaign finance reform at City Hall. Los Angeles Times

Plus: A California state agency focused on campaign finance has launched an investigation after the Los Angeles Times reported on hundreds of political donations connected to a real estate developer. Los Angeles Times

Tourist spot: For the sixth year in a row, Los Angeles County has set a record for visitors, with 2016’s surge coming from domestic and international visitors with a taste for warm weather and new magical tourist attractions. Los Angeles Times

Ransom paid: The Los Angeles Community College District paid a $28,000 ransom in bitcoin to hackers who took control of a campus email and computer network until a payment was made. Los Angeles Times

POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT

Fighting fakery: Politicians and members of the media are increasingly bemoaning the rise of “fake news,” though rarely is there agreement on how to define it. But can this new phenomenon be legislated away? Two separate bills introduced by Democratic lawmakers Wednesday aim to do just that by offering proposals that would help teach Californians to think more critically about the news they read online. Los Angeles Times

Arrest made: A father and son allegedly connected with an online threat made against the Laguna Beach City Council have been arrested. City Hall employees alerted detectives about a suspicious Craigslist post titled “Going to Laguna Beach city council with My Gillie suit.” Los Angeles Times

CRIME AND COURTS

Charges lodged: Two men who operate a Beverly Hills-based talent agency have been charged by L.A. prosecutors with allegedly charging a client upfront fees in violation of a state anti-scam law. Los Angeles Times

Cold case: A Sacramento man has been accused of killing two British tourists on a boating excursion from Belize more than 38 years ago. Sacramento Bee

Guilty plea: A former USC football player has pleaded guilty to running an international criminal empire that included an offshore gambling operation and a drug ring that sold performance-enhancing substances to professional athletes — in addition to trafficking hundreds of kilograms of cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and Ecstasy. Los Angeles Times

Complaint filed: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals filed a complaint with federal authorities last month alleging a prominent Hollywood animal training and handling firm mistreated animals housed in a 5-acre facility. Los Angeles Times

CALIFORNIA CULTURE

Burger queen: Lynsi Snyder, the 34-year-old billionaire president of In-N-Out, opens up about the struggles she has faced in her life. Inside the family and their famous burgers. Business Insider

End of an era: Downtown Santa Ana, the heart of one of the most heavily Latino cities in the nation, no longer has any Mexican beer bars. OC Weekly

Gallery hopping: The 2017 L.A. Art Show will for the first time feature on-site programming from eight SoCal art institutions: the Broad, the Getty, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Autry Museum of the American West, the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach and the Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center in Anaheim, as well as the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. Los Angeles Times

Think small: Yes, one of the hot real estate trends in the Bay Area is the 200-square-foot home. But it’s stylish. SF Gate

Nailed it: The bizarre story of the Laguna Beach jumper whose not-so-perfect landing made him a social media sensation. New York Times

CALIFORNIA ALMANAC

Los Angeles area: Rain with highs in the upper 50s. San Diego: Rain with highs in the low 60s. San Francisco area and Sacramento: Morning rain with highs in the low 50s. More weather is here.

AND FINALLY

Today’s California memory comes from Kate McCorkle:

“In the late1950s, my father was a fruit buyer for Del Monte’s dried fruit division. Part of his job was to drive the backroads of California, checking with the orchard owners to see how their crops of plums and apricots were coming along. Summers, my mother and I would ride along, staying in little motels with bright blue swimming pools in Yuba City or Chico. Cars had no air conditioning, so we rode, windows down, my mother with a wet washcloth over her head. We often stopped at fruit stands, and once I left my purse at one. I wrote to the stand using the address, Fruit Stand, Orland, Ca. route 32 , and they sent my purse back!”

If you have a memory or story about the Golden State, share it with us. Send us an email to let us know what you love or fondly remember about our state. (Please keep your story to 100 words.)

Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments, complaints and ideas to Shelby Grad.

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